I’ve been going to Tenerife for the past twenty years, yet I’m still finding new stuff to do every time I go. The biggest of the Canary Islands has a lot to offer, way more than a list of ten things…but it’s a good place to start and these are some of the best (mainly in the south). There really is something for everyone, whether you want to chill out, shop, be more active …whatever it is I’m pretty certain Tenerife has you covered. So without further ado, here are ten things to do in Tenerife.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]1. Whale watching sailing experience. I’d say splash out and charter your own yacht, but in reality it’s actually quite affordable. For a half day private dolphin & whale watching experience on a 40-50ft yacht for up to around ten people should cost about €400 in total for three hours including drinks and a light lunch. You’re almost guaranteed to see pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins in the most important place in Europe for these type of species, plus your yacht can take you to secluded natural bays for your own private swim-stop. On our trip on board Lina Yacht, families of whales came right up to the boat…and I do mean right beside the yacht. It’s an amazing experience that is so easy to arrange, the tours go from Puerto Colón daily, a must-do in Tenerife. If you’re traveling in smaller numbers, just jump on a group boat excursion for better value for money. Check out webtenerife.co.uk for details.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]2. Wine tasting. Did you know the Canary Islands produce their own wine? I didn’t. 1600 metres above sea level, you’ll find the town of Vilaflor (the highest municipality in Spain). But on your way up the mountains, Bodega Reverón is situated with its own high-altitude micro-climate perfect for producing delicious red, white, rosé and sweet desert wines. You may have spot the winery on UTV/ITV’s Travel Guides or on the “Isle of Fernandos” on Take Me Out and it’s no surprise they chose this family run vineyard. Hosts Donna and Frank are so welcoming and give personal tours and explanations of the vineyards and wine-making processes before sitting down to a private tasting. You’ll need a car to get here (and a designated driver), plus don’t forget to bring cash or a card because you’ll want to buy some bottles to take home.
Try canarias.com for cheap and reliable car hire.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]3. Shopping on the island is pretty impressive (they even have Primark in the north if you’re homesick) and a good distraction on overcast days or if you need a break from the sun. There are loads of options, but the best is the brand new Siam Mall. There’s a free bus from resorts in the area, it’s open 365 days a year, has a great selection of restaurants and cafés, a massive HiperDino supermarket (read: cheap wine!) and a brilliant play centre for kids. You’ll find H&M and Zara homeware here, plus cheaper-than-home Pandora, Parfois, Massimo Dutti and Mango.
For some early evening browsing before dinner, I suggest Tenerife’s very own mini Vegas strip at the Safari Centre (well, there’s music, lights, fountains, shows and bling!).[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]4. The number one waterpark in the world (according to TripAdvisor) is situated right in Playa de las Americas. Siam Parque needs to go on your list of places to visit if you’re planning a holiday to Tenerife. They have the biggest artificial waves in the world (breaking on a white sandy beach), five bars and restaurants, free buses to and from the park and of course amazing water slides. The Dragon is my favourite, four people in a raft plunging into an open cone that overlooks the park at the dragon’s mouth with a zero gravity experience before heading down the sinkhole to the end. [dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]Try their version of the lazy river for a little more gentle ride, the ‘Mai Tai’ has lots of smaller twists and turns. There are lockers on site and you can rent towels too, plus they’ve just opened a brand new slide called ‘Singha’ which simulates a roller coaster.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]5. Sister attraction Loro Parque (Spanish for ‘parrot park’) deserves a mention too if you’re interested in wildlife. The 13.5 hectare zoo in Puerto de la Cruz is No1 in Europe and No2 in the world on TripAdvisor. Get the twin ticket if you’re visiting both parks to save money![dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]6. The beach of course! While Tenerife might be known for it’s dark volcanic landscape, you’ll find soft light sand and crystal clear water on Playa de las Vistas. The stretch of beach is home to an in-sea inflatable total wipeout style water park (costs about €10), there are pedalos (€15ish for an hour), tonnes of beach-front bars and restaurants. My favourite is Chiringuito Atlantic for fresh local seafood and chilled rosé cava at reasonable prices and the best view on the beach for sunset.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]7. Jungle Park is the only authentic jungle with wild vegetation in Europe. For wildlife shows, big cats and sea lions in the south of the island this is your best bet and there’s a bob-sleigh type thing too.
Or go for a camel ride and visit the petting farm at Camel Park just down the road.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]8. Visit the highest point in Spain, Tenerife’s Mount Teide volcano (3,718m)…but go on the cable car at sunset for a romantic star gazing experience from the observatory at the top after dark – complete with champagne and typical Canarian dinner. There’s transport available from Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]9. Hiking – If you’re looking for something more active, Teide National Park is your go-to destination, but see No.8 if you’re feeling lazy or jump to No.10 for another hiking destination.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]10. Boat trip to neighbouring island (visible from Tenerife) of La Gomera, home to the UNESCO World Heritage site Garjonay National Park. Access the island by ferry, it takes less than an hour – just don’t forget your passport! [dt_gap height=”10″ /]